Committee Meeting 26 June 2018 MINUTES

Minutes for Committee meeting 26 June 2018 19:00 in the Podium Room

For a downloadable printable pdf version of these minutes use this link: Minutes for CTHG Committee Meeting 26 June 2018 (version 2)

Committee Members:

John Tomlinson (Chairman)
Jane Northcote (Secretary)
Laurance Jones (Treasurer)
Alan Budgen (absent)
Frances Calman
Christopher Gorman-Evans (absent)
Julian Hale
Mike Bristow (absent)

City of London
Barbican Estate Officer:
Luke Barton

1.   Welcome

John Tomlinson opened the meeting at 7pm and welcomed those present.

2.   Apologies for absence

We received apologies for absence from Mike Bristow, Alan Budgen, and Christopher Gorman-Evans.

3.   Minutes of the last committee meeting

The Minutes of the previous Committee Meeting, 5thMarch 2018 were approved by those present. They are to be signed by Christopher Gorman-Evans who was acting Chairman for that meeting.

Matters Arising from previous Committee meeting,  5th March 2018

(for details please see the minutes:Committee Meeting 5th March 2018 MINUTES)

4.   Fire Safety

a) What is the Fire resistance of our front doors? Will our flat front doors, and surrounding area, be replaced or not?

Front door – tested as resistant for 36 minutes

Our front doors are resistant to 36 minutes. Here is the extract from the Barbican Residential Committee(BRC)Meeting 4thJune 2018 draft minutes:

“Members noted that fire testing of doors had taken place the previous Saturday, attended by some Members and officers, including RCC Members, and the Assistant Director advised that the test had gone well, with a combustion point of 36 minutes. Members also noted that the Fire Risk Assessments had not raised significant concerns on compartmentation.”

Although no final decision has been taken, the most probable outcome as a consequence of this fire resistance is that the front doors will not be replaced.

Luke reported that we are now awaiting an updateon the internal redecoration plan, which was paused awaiting a decision on replacement.

b) Are sprinklers going to be installed in the Tower?

Following discussion at the 4thJune BRC meeting, and the outcome of the Fire Risk Assessments, it is now unlikelythat retrofitting sprinklers will be recommended.

c) Fire Risk Assessment – has it been done for this Tower?

The independent Fire Risk Assessment has been done for the Tower. This was a “Grade 4” assessment where the assessor, Franklins, examined the inside of a selection of flats. The report will be published in July 2018.

Secretary’s note: this Fire Risk Assessment is now on the City of London Website and you can download this pdf via this link: cromwell-tower-FRA-January 2018

5.   Electric Car Charging points

Electric Car Charging points are now installed in various car parks in the Barbican, including three spaces in Cromwell 03 Car Park. The installation was promoted and funded by the City of London Low Emission Zone, who are also paying for the electricity in the short term.

If you would like one of these spaces, please contact the Barbican Estate Office Car Parking Team.

6.   Rubbish in the Car Parks

At the last meeting Luke updated us as below.

‘The cleaners have and should be removing obvious rubbish from the Car Parks regularly. The Estate Services Manager has confirmed that we can start to remove anything from parking bays that should not be there. If youhave anything in your parking bay that is not a car you should be prepared to remove it or it will be cleared away (eg oil cans, trolleys, child seats, scooters, and toys etc). Initially these items will be stickered with a date after which time they willbe disposed of.’

Luke now reports that all items will be removed from the Car Parks after July 9th2018.

7.   Jugged Hare drinkers blocking the pavement

Since the previous meeting, we have had one further instance (23rdMay) of Jugged Hare patrons blocking the pavement. This was resolved by Eddy Williams, the manager.

If anyone sees the pavement blocked, forcing passers-by into the road, please send a photograph, with time and date, to Jane (

8.   Arts Centre events and use of the Beech St Tunnel

There are some more events planned. Christopher Gorman-Evans is representing Cromwell Tower residents at the consultation meetings with the Arts Centre. He has  given them comments on the March 2018 sound and light event. He has also collected and contributed comments, via the Barbican Association, on the Barbican Centre’s “Visitor Plan”. This Visitor Plan covers such points as communication with residents prior to outdoor events, managing noise from events in the Garden Room and Sculpture Court, and rules for coaches and other vehicles associated with the Centre.

There will be future events and consultations:

“The Arts Centre is planning another “Sound Unbound” weekend next year – the Barbican/GSMD/LSO. Most of the events will take place indoors but there will be some outside. The Arts Centre suggests setting up a small working group with residents to ensure that it goes off smoothly. “

“[To introduce] Clarisse Tavin, of the City’s Department of the Built Environment (Culture Mile), because she wants to consult residents about another proposed closure (part closure this time, I think) this summer in order to install an artwork on the panels on the south side of the tunnel. The art work is, I believe, static but installing it will involve closing part of Beech Street and presumably some noise.” (email from Jane Smith, Barbican Association, 19thJune 2018)

9.   Rubbish outside the front door – 01 level – Cromwell Place

In our previous meeting, we asked Luke to investigate how to improve the area outside our main front entrance, where the bins are stored. Luke reports that Paul, our cleaner, has now cleared the ‘alleyway’ between the bin store and our lobby.

Lobby Porters have been asked to prevent people storing supermarket trollies in this area. The cleaners and porters will ensure that doors to the Bin Store are kept closed. The Bin Store floor has also been cleaned.

There remains the problem of cigarette butts being dropped outside the front door.

10.Items left in lift lobbies

Luke has been inspecting balconies and lift lobbies, removing items to ensure that these areas are clear in accordance with Fire Safety advice. He reports that he is now down to floor 14. He is satisfied that people are mostly observing the need to keep lobbies and balconies clear for firefighters, firefighting equipment, and for resident exit routes.


The next Committee Meeting is at on 29thOctober 2018 7pm

The AGM and Christmas Party is on29thNovember 2018 7pm


12.Committee Members

The Committee would benefit from additional members, so that the Committee represents more of the Tower, and so that we have sufficient Committee members to represent the Tower on various working parties.

All residents are eligible to serve on the Committee, including City tenants, private tenants, and long leaseholders. Residents who are able and willing to serve on the Committee are encouraged to contact John Tomlinson,

Jane Northcote has been the Committee Secretary for three years. She is now looking to hand over to someone else. The Committee thanked her for her contribution. She will hand over the role at the meeting after the next AGM.

13.Bikes on Cromwell Place Fences

There are currently notices on the fence of Cromwell Place asking cyclists not to lock their bikes to the railings. Cycles are increasingly being locked here. Effective immediately, Luke will ask the porters to alert the BEO when bikes are locked to the railings. A BEO staff member will then come with bolt-cutters, remove the bike and take it to a storage location.

The Committee suggested that Luke consider a procedure for informing the bike owner what had happened to their bike.

Christopher is in touch with the City to request more bike racks in the area, including in Silk Street, and he has asked the Barbican Centre to support this request.

14.Plants and Planters on Cromwell Place

There are a number of issues with the planters on Cromwell Place. The big containers near the road are maintained by the BEO. The plants in the big planters dried out and looked in poor condition during the dry weather. Passers-by throw cans into these containers, treating them like rubbish bins.

Committee members asked Luke why these are in such poor condition, when the planting in big containers near Lauderdale is similar, but those are better cared for and look much healthier.  There are also healthy and cared-for plants on Silk Street and on Speed Highwalk.

The small containers directly outside the front doors are planted and maintained by Cromwell residents Julian Hale and Helen Likierman. Despite the dry weather, these small containers have colourful and flourishing displays.

Some people would like to see more planters in Cromwell Place, one in front of each pillar.

Luke will provide a watering schedule for the planters, so we understand why they dry out. He will also sort out who is responsible for removing rubbish from the planted containers.

Luke explained that if Cromwell residents want additional planters, then residents will have to pay for them. He will obtain prices, and find out if additional planters would be maintained by the BEO. He will also arrange for Paul Baldessari, the new Director of Open Spaces, to visit a meeting of the Garden Advisory Group. This is a Barbican-wide working party of the Residents Consultation Committee (RCC). They have already identified Cromwell Place as an area needing attention.

15.Art in the 01 Lobby

image007A new artist has just installed her work in the 01 Lift Lobby. She is Neelu Patel, who is the sister of Kalpesh, our porter., and on Twitter @neelupatel1973.

Thank you to Alan Budgen, who organises this programme of art displays.

16.Freeview problems

There is a television freeview service provided by VFM. This service has had problems recently, reported by John Tomlinson at this meeting, and also by other residents of the estate on Barbicantalk. VFM have a contract with the BEO, but they have subcontracted service of this freeview operation to another company. This other company declares it will charge a call-out fee if the problem is found to be the ‘resident’s installation’. The situation when the problem is estate-wide seems to be unclear. In any case, VFM is not providing the service it was contracted to provide, and Luke will take this issue up with Mike Saunders.

The Chairman closed the meeting at 8pm precisely, as people started to arrive for the Summer Party.

Committee Meeting 5th March 2018 MINUTES

To download  the Minutes  of our Committee Meeting 5th March 2018 as a printable pdf document, click this link: Minutes for CTHG 5 March 2018 version 3 (pdf)

Below are the minutes as a webpage with pictures:

Date for your diary: Cromwell Tower House Group Summer Party

June 26th 2018 – 8pm – Podium Room

All residents invited.  


Committee meeting 5th March 19:00 in the Podium Room, Minutes of meeting

Committee Members:

John Tomlinson (Chairman) (apologies received, he was at the RCC)
Jane Northcote (Secretary)
Laurance Jones (Treasurer) (apologies received)
Mike Bristow (apologies received)
Alan Budgen
Frances Calman (apologies received)
Christopher Gorman-Evans
Julian Hale

Barbican Estate Officer:

Luke Barton

1.  Welcome

In John Tomlinson’s absence, Christopher Gorman-Evans agreed to chair this meeting. We welcomed David Candy, a resident of the Tower, as a potential new Committee member.

2.  Apologies for absence

Apologies were received from Mike Bristow, John Tomlinson, Frances Calman. Laurance Jones had hoped to join us, but was in hospital. We send him our good wishes and hopes for a speedy recovery.

3.  Minutes of the last committee meeting: 27th Sept 2017

The minutes of our 27th Sept 2017 meeting were approved as accurate, and signed by Julian Hale who was acting Chairman at that meeting.

Matters Arising from previous COMMITTEE meeting

27th Sept 2017

4.  Fire Safety

Luke gave us an update on the current position and answered our questions. His answers are below.
a) What is the Fire resistance of our front doors? Will our flat front doors, and surrounding area, be replaced or not?

Answer: A front door section from Shakespeare is being sent away for destruction testing. Once the results have been received, along with the Fire Risk Assessments, reports will go to the Barbican Estate Residents Consultation Committee (RCC) and Barbican Residential Committee (BRC).

b) Are sprinklers going to be installed in the Tower?

Answer: It’s highly unlikely that sprinklers will be installed in the Towers at this time.

c) What about the Fire Extinguishers?

Answer: The advice of the London Fire Brigade is that the Fire Extinguishers should be removed from all the common parts areas on the Estate. In the event of a Fire, people should prioritise calling the Fire Brigade and getting to safety as needed. All the Fire Extinguishers will be removed, including those in the Car Parks at the same time.

d) There was a London Fire Brigade Training exercise in Cromwell Tower on 14 Feb. What did we learn?

Answer: The Training exercise was very useful to both the London Fire Brigade and the Barbican Estate Office (BEO). The firefighters were able to test new equipment and had very positive feedback for the provisions put in place by the BEO. The test showed that the Fire Brigade can easily access and use the Fire Service Information that is held in the Tower. The porter(s) are well briefed and able to direct them to the various areas of the Tower as required. The exercise confirmed that the “stay put” policy is correct: firefighters use the fire stairs for access and for their equipment, which constricts access along the stairwell. Anyone trying to exit past them while they are ‘firefighting’ will find it very difficult to pass them on the stairs. Further to this the lobbies that are used to set up become very constricted so unless you are directly affected by smoke or fire the advice to remain in your property still stands.

Here are some pictures from the exercise:

e) Fire Risk Assessment – has it been done for this Tower?

Answer: The Fire Risk Assessor (Carl Dennis of Frankhams) has visited the Tower and visited a number of flats. He still has some common part areas of the Estate to visit before completing his report which will be reviewed and then made available on the COL website.

It worth is noting that some of the flats we visited still didn’t have smoke alarms. You can still arrange to get smoke alarms installed by the London Fire Brigade by contacting them on 0800 028 44 28


5.  Art in the 01 Lobby

There’s a new exhibition in the lobby! Thank you Alan.

6.  Electric Car Charging points

Luke reported that there will be Electric Car Park points in the 02 or 03 levels of the Car Park under Cromwell. The wiring is in place. This prototype was due to start November or December 2017. This start date is now delayed until May 2018 because there is a problem that in order to connect the system, it looks as though UK Power Networks will need to interrupt the local power supply.

7.  Rubbish in the Car Parks

Luke reported back. He told us:

‘The cleaners have and should be removing obvious rubbish from the Car Parks regularly. The Estate Services Manager has confirmed that we can start to remove anything from parking bays that should not be there. If you have anything in your parking bay that is not a car you should be prepared to remove it or it will be cleared away (eg oil cans trolleys and toys etc). Initially these items will be stickered with a date after which time they will be disposed of.’

8.  CTHG response to Mike Saunders’ proposal for internal redecoration

On 17th August 2017 residents received a letter from Mike Saunders proposing internal redecoration of Cromwell Tower. Most of this is repainting the woodwork on and around the front doors of our flats. Since there is a study in progress, Item 4 above, to evaluate the possibility of replacing all this woodwork and upgrading its fire resistance, it didn’t make sense to repaint it at that point. Jane wrote a letter on behalf of the House Group to ask that this redecoration be delayed until the result of the fire-resistance study is known. Then the schedule can be adjusted. The House Group Committee emphasised the importance of maintaining the internal redecoration programme, without too much of a gap. Luke confirmed that the redecoration will simply be delayed, and certainly not missed out altogether. As noted above, we are still awaiting the results of the test on the fire resistance of the door from Shakespeare, so the redecoration is on hold.

9.  Huge puddles on Cromwell Highwalk

IMG_3094 (1)There is a huge puddle on the Podium, by the steps next to the disused Exhibition Hall entrance. This is inconvenient for pedestrians, and degrades the tiling. Beech Street Gardens work is planned to be continued towards Cromwell, and the drains would be fixed as part of this work. The work is currently scheduled for Autumn 2019. There is so far no decision on whether the Exhibition Hall entrance (“Yellow Corridor”) will be removed as part of this work.


10.         General Data Protection Regulation – Advice for House Groups (Barbican Association General Council meeting 21 Sept 2017)

The regulation will apply from 25th May 2018. It may apply to CTHG because our membership secretary holds a list of members, as required by the Registered Tenants Association rules.

Action: Christopher will write to Jane Smith at the Barbican Association (BA) to ask for specific advice.

11.         Update on Barbican lease enforcement issues, specifically: Pets, Wooden Floors, Short-term holiday lets

The lease specifies that living areas are to be carpeted, pets are not allowed and short-term holiday lets (‘AirBnB’) are also not permitted. Barbican Estate officers want guidance on how to respond to lease infringements. They prepared a paper which was discussed in the Barbican Estate Residents Consultation Committee (RCC) meeting, Dec 11th 2017.  The resulting protocol, which sets out the procedure for the BEO to follow, was passed by the RCC meeting 5th March 2018 and is awaiting approval by the Barbican Residential Committee (BRC) meeting 19th March 2018.

On short-term holiday lets, Luke reported that the BEO have been taking enforcement action, and this has been effective. If anyone sees that a flat is used for short-term holiday let, please let Luke know.

12.         Noise from kitchen vent in the Jugged Hare

A committee member had been contacted in Sept 2017 by a resident whose family is disturbed by a very noisy ventilator fan from the kitchen at the Jugged Hare.

This ventilator is not only noisy, it also emits kitchen smells. The problem is greater in summer.

Action: Luke to follow up with the resident, and let the House Group Committee know if the problem persists. We can then take it up with the Jugged Hare.

Matters Arising from The AGM Nov 28th 2017

13.         Jugged Hare drinkers blocking the pavement

After the November 2017 AGM minutes were issued, the problem with Jugged Hare patrons blocking the pavement has recurred. A house group member sent Jane a picture of Jugged Hare patrons blocking the pavement on 10 Jan 2018 at 7pm. Jane wrote to the Jugged Hare and they responded. Their CCTV showed that this obstruction occurred during a 15 minute period and was soon cleared. They said that they were taking the matter seriously and were working to prevent recurrances. We will continue to try to resolve this issue by maintaining a dialogue with the Jugged Hare. There have been no recent problems but the weather has been very cold.  If anyone sees the pavement blocked, forcing passers-by into the road, please send a photograph to Jane (


14.         Carpets in the Lift Lobbies

A house group member queried how the carpet replacement programme worked, since the carpet on his floor was fine and didn’t need replacing.

Luke gave us an update. Four carpets will be replaced in the next two months. These are carpets in poor condition on the 5th, 11th, 17th, 18th floors.  After this, there remain 12 which have not yet been replaced as part of the current programme. Some of these are in good condition. Luke does an inspection and manages the replacement programme. The ones in poorest condition are replaced first, regardless of age. Sometimes a carpet is damaged by use or by leakage onto the carpet from rubbish bags. We are currently replacing two per year. This will be reviewed once all the carpets in a bad state have been replaced. The cost of this is shared by all flats in the Tower and goes on the service charge.

15.         Beech Street Tunnel event (16th 17th 18th March)

The Barbican Centre will stage a classical music event in the Beech St Tunnel. This will close the tunnel for certain periods around the weekend of 18th March. Our House Group and other House Groups welcomed the partial closure of the tunnel to traffic, which will improve air quality, albeit temporarily, and we look forward to a world class event on our doorstep. With other House Groups we submitted an objection on the grounds that the event organisers had not sorted out access to Cromwell Place, noise containment, crowd dispersal and other issues.

By the time these minutes are distributed, residents should have received a communication from the Barbican Centre: two A4 printed sheets, including an access map. Access to Cromwell Place will be restricted.

16.         Rubbish outside the front door – 01 level – Cromwell Place

Bin store outside the front entrance of Cromwell Tower

a) Bin store – to the left of the door as you leave the building.

This bin store and the surrounding area are often a mess. There may be a problem that, with increased deliveries to the Tower in cardboard boxes, this storage area is no longer large enough for our needs.

Action: Luke to speak with our cleaner, Paul, and see what can be improved.

b) Storage of traffic cones, brown food bin, Waitrose trollies, cigarette butts, in this area

Currently there is the brown food bin, traffic cones, and a number of Waitrose trollies on Cromwell Place outside the bin store.

There is no Waitrose trolley “collection service” from Cromwell Tower.

Action: Luke will investigate further, with the aim of tidying up this area.

17.         Items left in lift lobbies

The Committee has heard concerns from House Group members about shopping trollies, rubbish bags and cardboard boxes being left in the lift lobbies over the weekend and during the day.

The Fire Exercise (Item 4 above) showed how important it is that lift lobbies are clear so that firefighters can manoeuvre their equipment.

Action: Luke will investigate and if needed, re-issue the notice about the procedure for rubbish disposal.

18.         DATES

Tuesday 26th June 2018, 7pm Committee Meeting

Tuesday 26th June 2018, 8pm Summer Party

The acting Chairman closed the meeting at 20:15.